Bad parenting!

  Jak_1 14:09 12 Dec 2008

Yesterday late afternoon I had just parked up at the local supermarket. The car next to mine had the engine running and lights on. Nothing unusual about this you might say, however the driver was nowhere to be seen! In the car was a tot in a baby seat and a lad of about 12/13 in the drivers seat turning the wheel and bouncing about in the seat! The mother arrived a few minutes later having emerged from the supermarket entrance. What struck me at the time was just how easily a tragic accident could have happened if the lad had knocked the car into gear.
I have to say I was very tempted to inform the police until mother arrived back on the scene laden with shopping! I just couldn't believe the gross negligence shown by this person! Quite appart from her own two offspring being hurt or killed there were other people around who could have been hit by the car should the worst have happened. How can some people be so irresponsible?

  Chegs ®™ 14:18 12 Dec 2008

What struck me at the time was just how easily a tragic accident could have happened if the lad had knocked the car into gear.

You've been watching too many movies. :)

It is an offence to leave a vehicle with the engine running if the vehicle is unoccupied,but you say it had children inside and the young lad was in the drivers seat so if the police had seen it,he would likely have been charged.Although the carpark is probably private land so no offence.

  Clapton is God 14:37 12 Dec 2008

"How can some people be so irresponsible?"


Brain and dead spring to mind.

  laurie53 19:54 12 Dec 2008

"the carpark is probably private land so no offence."

Popular fallacy.

If the general public has access the Road Traffic Acts apply.

I personally know of action for riding without a crash helmet, drunk driving and no tax.

  Kevscar1 20:35 12 Dec 2008

The Road traffic Act only applies if it is maintained at public expense. If it's private property then it doesn't.
That makes any tickets given out at your local hospital for parking on yellow lines invalid because all the roads are maintained with our money so the RTA applies there and under it only a council by issue of a bye-law can authorise the painting of yellow lines.

  bremner 21:43 12 Dec 2008

"The Road traffic Act only applies if it is maintained at public expense". This is not the case.

The RTA applies to a Road or other public place. Public place is defined as anywhere to which the public has access.

This has to be the general public and not say for example the car park of a private members club.

Therefore the car park of a supermarket is a public place as defined by the RTA even if it is maintained solely by the Supermarket company.

  spuds 22:29 12 Dec 2008

Funny this question as been aired. At present I am in dialogue with our local police about a similar car park incident.

Over the years there as been changes as to what is classed as private in respect of public access areas and/or Rights of Way. There as also been a change (so I am told) in how some police officer will deal with an offence of a stationary (parked) vehicle with occupant's, and with its engine running.

Previously: (Q)Who is responsible for parked vehicles. (A) The person who last drove the vehicle is legally responsible for complying with the regulations in force.
Now there is (apparently) 'Quitting a motor vehicle' which throws an whole different light on any offences of a parked vehicle with the engine running, and whether other occupant's are licensed to drive the vehicle.

Regarding public access 'private' areas including car parks, the Law Lords have had a number of cases presented to them on this matter. It a long complicated issue, and to lengthy to go into detail here. But on a part basis RTA 1988 sect 192(1)UK and RSA 1984 sect 151(1) Scotland click here might shed a little light on the subject. There is also Section 93 of the Police Act 'Authorisation of Action In Respect of Property' which might give police extra powers for possible prosecutions.

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